The mind is such a powerful tool. Most people often choose fatty and sugary foods over healthy options as they activate sensors in the brain which release pleasure (dopamine and endorphins). By doing this, it only makes the person want more and more as those foods can be hyper-rewarding.
In order to lose weight, having a good diet is key and much more important than having a good exercise program. You must control what you put in your body and you must learn to resist temptation, otherwise achieving your goal just won't happen.
We all know what we should and should not eat, yet many of us succumb to temptation more often than not. By training the brain to stay focussed on your goals and to control and resist temptation, you can expect to regain control of your mind (and body) and achieve ultimate success in your weight loss goals.
Here are 5 tips that you can use to help train your brain to stay focussed on achieving your goals. Master this and you'll lose those pounds faster and keep it off for good!
1. Don't Give In / Think Long Term
Begin with the end in mind. Picture your new body and your new lifestyle and how good that is going to feel when you get there. You have to believe in yourself and think positively along the way. Positive thoughts lead to positive action, so stay focussed and keep replaying those positive thoughts in your head every day until it becomes a habit. Talk to yourself and talk yourself up every day until it becomes instinctive.
Prove to yourself and those around you that you are a winner and you can and will do it! And when you do it, just think how good that is going to feel.
Make a personal commitment to yourself and write this down and place it in a prominent place to serve as a daily reminder. Keep a vision board or pictures to keep you motivated on your journey so that you don't give in.
2. Hold Yourself Accountable & Be Honest With Yourself (Integrity)
Accountability is about holding yourself responsible for your actions. Integrity is doing what you say and doing the right thing even when no one else is watching you. These two 'values' as I like to refer to them as, are important for you to succeed in your goal.
Holding yourself accountable is a great way to ensure that you don't give up! One way to do this is to announce what you are going to do (e.g. I am going to lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks) and/or how you are going to achieve your weight loss goals (e.g. I am going to exercise 5 days a week and not eat junk during the week).
You can announce your intentions/commitment privately with family and friends or you can write it down somewhere in a prominent place to serve as a daily reminder. Another way to do this is to announce it publicly through social media or by joining a weight loss competition (e.g. the biggest loser). This can help you stay on track as no one likes to go out there and tell people all the things they are going to do and then NOT deliver. We all want to be seen as reliable, credible, and true to our word, especially to those closest to us. We don't want to be considered or thought of as 'fake' or someone who doesn't 'walk the talk'. We want to be considered as winners and not as someone who throws in the towel.
By holding yourself accountable and doing what you say, you will start to take control of your mind (and your body) and reap the benefits of your new lifestyle. You will also get a huge confidence boost once the weight starts to melt off, and this will be further boosted when others start to notice the results of your commitment.
3. Distract Yourself
If you are fighting cravings or are tempted by something you know is bad for you, then try distracting yourself and focussing your attention on something else. Go for a walk around the block and get some fresh air, make a telephone call, fill up on water, do whatever it takes to take your mind off whatever it is that it's fixated on!
4. Substitute The Craving/Temptation
Instead of giving in to that afternoon donut or bag of chips, try popping a piece of gum, eating a piece of fruit, or drinking lots of water... do all 3 if you have to and I can assure you that you won't feel like chugging down that donut anymore!
5. Re-frame the Temptation
A leading psychology professor at Columbia University has long been studying how, why and when we're able to just say "NO" to an immediate reward (such as a piece of cake) in favour of a longer-term reward such as a slimmer waistline. He believes in reframing the temptation as a way to resist the temptation. So, say if you are wanting to eat a pizza or a bucket of fried chicken and you really know you shouldn't, try a simple mind trick like imagining that cockroaches have crawled over the pizza or chicken. If you change how you think about something, it's impact on what you feel can change too.